Ms. Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.): Alas, Mr. Speaker, last week Vancouver lost an inspiring advocate for my community. On February 28, former councillor and two-time mayoral candidate Jim Green lost his fight with cancer.
Jim was a well-known progressive force in municipal politics and a key architect of solutions to improve the city. He was a passionate doer, with a fountain of ideas which he implemented in one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods, the Downtown Eastside. Jim founded BladeRunners, an internationally-recognized employment program that provides life-skills training for at risk youth, as well as United We Can, a charity that offers residents of East Hastings jobs to clean the streets of their neighbourhood. The Portland Hotel Society, which provides supported living space for the hardest to house people, owes its existence to Jim, among others.
Less than a week before he died, Jim was awarded Vancouver’s highest honour, the Freedom of the City award, for his exemplary citizenship, service and leadership. Jim lived according to the idea that one can actually change the world for the better and enjoy it at the same time.
On behalf of the citizens of Vancouver Quadra and Vancouver, I offer my deepest condolences to Jim’s family and all who he touched.